On March 16, 2008, a landmark model railroad had its last public showing. On this day, Allen McClelland had his last open house for his world famous Virginian and Ohio, Gauley Subdivision model railroad. Due to physical limitations, Allen had to move to a retirement home. About 200 Virginian and Ohio fans came to pay tribute to this legendary modeler and his railroad.
Operator Curtis Marshall is very sad to see it come to an end, as the railroad has been a part of his life since he was fifteen or sixteen years old. Another operator Charles Ford was sad because of all of the time and effort he put into the railroad and realizing it marked the end of an era. John Roberts, Past-President of the NMRA agrees that it feels like the end of an era.
This installation of Allen Keller’s Great Model Railroads series will be different from most, since this railroad is not yet finished. However, this is an exception to the rule, as Allen McClelland is such an icon to the hobby. In this overview of this layout, Allen Keller will cover the many concepts Allen McClelland has pioneered over the years.
Allen McClelland wants everyone to remember that the V&O was a real railroad and was designed and operated as closely to the prototype as they could achieve. He started his railroad in the spring of 2002. It fills Allen’s 1,400 square foot basement. The main line is about 325 feet and the minimum radius is 36 inches. Allen will lead a tour of his layout including the unfinished areas.
Watch more from Allen Keller’s Great Model Railroads in the Model Railroad Academy archives.